By Lance Jenkinson
Just what 2021 has in store for Berwick shooting star Sergei Evglevski is anyone’s guess.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist is preparing as if it will be a smooth ride to the Tokyo Olympics later this year, but knows it might not turn out to be the case.
What the 23-year-old proved to himself in last year’s Victorian Covid-19 lockdown is his ability to focus on the things that are in his control and maintaining as much normalcy as possible.
“It’s all changing dramatically every day,” Evglevski said.
“Every couple of weeks we’ll have an update and then a couple of weeks later we’ll have a different update.
“We don’t really know what’s happening with the world, but we’re training like it’s all normal.
“We’re training like we’re going and we’re all really motivated to go.”
Evglevski was supposed to be in Brisbane for a training camp this month, but a Covid outbreak in that city kept the athletes in their home states.
He praised the swift action taken by Shooting Australia to keep everyone at home and avoid being shut out by closed state borders.
“Everyone is really organised and on top of what we can do and what we can’t do,” Evglevski said.
“I don’t have to wait around and sit here impatiently stressing out what I need to do and what’s going to happen.
“They’re always contacting me, they’re always talking to me about it, which is really nice.”
With constant changes to schedule because of the pandemic, nothing is a shock for the Australian athletes and it’s just a matter of being flexible and adjusting to updated timelines.
Evglevski is scheduled to compete in the 25m rapid fire pistol in the BISC Cup in Brisbane later this month, but that could turn into a postal shoot, a competition when the athletes compete at their home club through a video link as opposed to a physical meeting.
While the postal series was exciting for Evglevski at first during the lockdown, he misses the vibe of a physical training camp and competition.
“Personally I really prefer a big training atmosphere,” he said.
“Training at home is very different to training as a team.
“That training atmosphere when you’re all living together is more motivation to get stuck into it.
“In saying that, I’m as motivated as I can be right now.”
Evglevski has made use of technology to stay in contact with Australian pistol coach Vladimir Galiabovitch.
There has been contact through Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams and he occasionally pulls out the mobile phone to provide a video link of his training sessions for Galiabovitch to critique.
Crucially, Evglevski’s form has remained strong, despite the lack of on-site competitions.
“I’ve got a tripod and I set it up with the phone at training and he watches me do my thing,” he said.
“In December in training, we were both impressed with how we progressed throughout the year with everything happening.
“We were happy that we were able to keep the good form up and stay steady and stay strong.”
Evglevski is fresh and ready to tackle an Olympic year head on.
The dream of winning a gold medal for Australia gets him bouncing out of bed every morning and ready to tackle the challenges of the day.
“I’ve had a good break, mentally and physically, over the Christmas and new year period,” he said.
“Now I’m really motivated to go forward with it.”